47 fined for flouting gathering ban at film screening - RTHK
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47 fined for flouting gathering ban at film screening

2021-08-28 HKT 15:01
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  • 47 fined for flouting gathering ban at film screening
A Yau Tsim Mong district councillor has criticised the authorities for fining 47 people who attended a movie screening he organised on Friday, on the grounds that they had violated the public gathering ban.

The police said the fines were for breaching anti-pandemic measures that prevent public gatherings. But the councillor, Derek Chu said he had only invited friends to a screening of Beyond the Dream, a romance film, at his office, and he was surprised when law enforcement officers showed up and handed them penalty tickets.

He said the film's director, Kiwi Chow, was among the attendants.

The councillor said it was unreasonable for officers to say they had breached the public gathering ban.

"It was a private gathering. All participants were friends, or friends of their friends," he said.

Chu claimed there were government workers who went undercover among participants.

"Maybe there were government workers among them, I don't know. [Law enforcement officers] said there were two among us," he said.

He said he was told they should have ensured that members of the public were not allowed in.

Chow, meanwhile, said it was ridiculous that the authorities had issues with them screening a romance film in private.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, for its part, says it suspects the venue was used for public entertainment without a licence. It says it will prosecute anyone found to have violated the law.

The Home Affairs Department says it has written to Chu reminding him to follow the council's code of conduct and guidelines on remuneration package after it received complaint about the screening.

The complaint said the event was not relevant to the councillor's duties and may have violated the law. The authority says it won't reimburse the councillor for any related expenses if the complaint is upheld.
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Last updated: 2021-06-28 HKT 18:55